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LETTER: Fee should be imposed for freighter anchorages

I enjoyed reading Bailey Moreton’s article on freighter traffic off Vancouver Island as the subject is one that is of a lot of interest to residents in the Gulf Islands.

The damage the anchorages do to the sea bottom and the health of the marine ecosystem has been ignored for too long. In many cases, in today’s economy, the price of goods sold does not factor in the hidden cost of damage to the environment.

To my knowledge, they do not have to pay to use these anchorages even though they are damaging the environment. Perhaps, a substantial daily damage fee would be effective in encouraging the shipping system to operate more efficiently and would help provide funds to study the damage to the environment. True, the charge would be passed on and the cost of goods would rise. But that would give locally produced goods a better chance to compete.

The U.S. does not allow ships to anchor off the San Juan Islands and the Canadian federal government could have a similar policy for the Gulf Islands.

Charlotte Edwards

Pender Island